Bloody Foreigners (2010): S01E03 – The Untold Great Fire of London


Bloody Foreigners is a four-part series of drama-documentaries highlighting the role played by foreigners at iconic moments and crucial turning points in British history.


Everyone knows that the Great Fire of London started at a baker’s in Pudding Lane; that it was a terrible accident; and hardly anyone died. However, reeling from plague and war, torn apart by sectarian tensions, many Londoners believed the fire had been started deliberately by a foreign enemy living within their midst. And they wanted to make sure a foreigner would pay for this crime of the century.

For several apocalyptic days and nights, as the city burned, London hunted the foreign fire-starters. The first target were the Dutch, whose cities, navy and empire Britain coveted; the second, the French – our fundamentalist religious enemies.

After an orgy of rage and violence, cosmopolitan London found its incendiary alien – a Frenchman who claimed to have committed this act of terror and from whom the mob would, quite literally, demand their pound of flesh. But many were left wondering whether the real horrors had been committed by Londoners themselves. As stories of hardship and heroism emerged, the authorities had to ask whether London’s foreign communities had been more loyal than they could ever have imagined.

With expert interviews, fresh visualisations of 17th century London and contemporary sources, Great Fire reveals the dirty truth behind one of our great historical moments.

Bloody Foreigners Series

You can find a full index and overview of Bloody Foreigners here.

Production & Filming Details

  • Release Date: 30 June 2010.
  • Running Time: 60 minutes (per episode).
  • Rating: Unknown.
  • Country: UK.
  • Language: English.

Video Link(s)

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